Walking – August 2016

Long Walk: 3rd August led by Angela Wall

 Hughenden Valley and Speen

We met at Hughenden Manor church car park on a fine, sunny morning and set off across the main road and along the path up Cryers Hill.  Crossing the road at Great Kingshill, we took the path to the right of the school which was unusually quiet as it was the summer holidays.  The path led us through Gomme’s Wood and across the fields to Piper’s Corner School and then walked down the steep hill, (glad that we were not climbing up!) to The Plough.  We then turned right and almost immediately crossed the road and took the path up the hill to Piggott’s Wood, every now and then turning to admiring the view back down the Hughenden Valley.

At Piggott’s we passed the stained glass studio and turning left through the woods and then right along the ridge overlooking North Dean we eventually dropped down to the road  leading up the hill to Speen.  Taking a left turn after the Scout Hut, we took a narrow path on the right between houses and walked along a lovely, broad path down through trees and across fields and up to Walters Ash.  A friendly group of cows blocked our way at one point but we managed to skirt round them whilst they were placidly lying down chewing.

At the main road we turned left and opposite the gates to the RAF station, we turned right and then left and walked along the path behind the houses to Naphill Common and then through Naphill Woods to The Despencers Arms at Downley Common for lunch.  Chris and her sister Donna were already there sampling the cider and together we enjoyed a good lunch.  After lunch, we set off for a short walk back down through the woods leading to Hughenden Manor. After resisting the temptation to have afternoon tea at the NT café, we arrived back at the car park having had a very enjoyable day’s walk.

.Strollers Walk :  August 8th  led by Jacqui Kennedy

We met up in the car park behind The Lions at Bledlow and set off across the field in the Chinnor direction, meeting up with the Midshires Way.  After a short way, we branched off to the right to Lower Wainhill.  On reaching the farm, we then turned left up towards Hempton Wainhill, and up the steps to the base of Wain Hill itself.

Passing The Cop we continued along the Icknield Way Trail, turning right at the ‘crossroads’ of footpaths, onto the Chiltern Way.  After around 300 yds, we turn left down to a small copse. through the trees and up the other side, and over the field, coming out on the Icknield Way Trail.  This time we crossed over it and followed the path over two or three fields, emerging on the main road.  It was then just a hop, skip and jump back to The Lions, where a group stopped to enjoy lunch.

It was a pleasant walk on a warm, dry summer morning, which we all enjoyed.

Medium Walk – August 12th led by Peter West

The walk was planned to be 7 ½ miles long over mainly farmland and mostly flat. However, things did not tum out as expected as we shall see. A few days before the walk, I received a phone call from a lady who is a U3A member who said she would join us. We all met in the car park of the Peacock Inn in Henton where we planned to eat after the walk having already given our choices from their menu. The forecast was for fine sunny weather after initial light cloud cover.

We set off in a north-easterly direction across fields negotiating several stiles on the way. We soon came to the hamlet of Forty Green. From there, we had to fight our way through an overgrown footpath before crossing the Phoenix Way. We reached North Mills crossing a stream over a footbridge. Here we were faced with another overgrown path before heading off over fields to Ilmer.

After stopping to admire the church with its wooden spire, we took a footpath which passed through the gardens of five barn converted houses. By now the clouds had cleared and we were in bright sunshine. We headed off west and crossed a field to follow a line of hedges over more fields. It was at this point that we noticed that the newcomer to the group was lagging behind. She complained of feeling unwell and showed signs of heat exhaustion. We laid her down in the shade and gave her water. Clearly, she could not complete the walk. This faced us with a dilemma; we could not leave her nor could we reasonably expect the whole group to stay with her and thereby spoil the walk which was only half way through. The nearest point for a vehicle to approach was at Towersey over a mile away. The lady phoned her husband but there was no answer and she had to leave a message. Volunteers were called to look after to the lady until help arrived and four of our group selflessly agreed to stay.

The remainder pressed on taking a shorter route back to the Peacock in case we were required to drive back to the pick-up point if the husband did not get the message. Keeping in touch by mobile phone, we were relieved to hear that the lady had managed to get to the meeting point and that her husband had collected her. The four who had stayed then took the same route back to the Peacock and arrived only half an hour after the main group. To our surprise, the casualty herself drove up shortly after showing that she had made a swift recovery. We were then able to start our meal as planned sitting outside under welcome shade and reflecting upon an eventful morning.

Main Walk – August 22nd  led by Sheila Lane

We met up in the car park behind The Lions at Bledlow and set off across the field in the Chinnor direction, meeting up with the Midshires Way.  After a short way, we branched off to the right to Lower Wainhill.  On reaching the farm, we then turned left up towards Hempton Wainhill, and up the steps to the base of Wain Hill itself. Passing The Cop we continued along the Icknield Way Trail, turning right at the ‘crossroads’ of footpaths, onto the Chiltern Way.  After around 300 yds, we turn left down to a small copse. through the trees and up the other side, and over the field, coming out on the Icknield Way Trail.  This time we crossed over it and followed the path over two or three fields, emerging on the main road.  It was then just a hop, skip and jump back to The Lions, where a group stopped to enjoy lunch.

It was a pleasant walk on a warm, dry summer morning, which we all enjoyed.

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